Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Maybe the tide has turned?

Over the last 3 days, half a million people have moved out of their homes and headed for the beaches (and stadiums and hotels and friends couches). And so far the count of deaths is only 5 which is absolutely amazing, only one person from the fire (I think that number is going to go up as they search houses though). According to Cal Fire, 276,823 acres and 1300 homes of San Diego county have gone up in smoke since Sunday morning.

The powers that be lifted the ban on Scripps Ranch and I found my house was none the worse for wear and not a piece of scorched earth in sight (view blocked out by all of those big dry trees) and the sky was almost clear. I was actually prepared to lose everything to the fire, had good insurance, everything was packed and had a plan of attack of what I was going to do when it was all over (no I wasn't thinking big TV thoughts!) but it only seems like disasters only happen to you when you’re not prepared. I know a lot of people out there are hurting right now.

Being the cheap guy that I am, I think insurance is a waste of money till there’s a huge fire coming down my street. Believe me, in SoCal, it’s not a waste of money and I know if I didn’t have it, my house would be a gray cloud floating around on the Santa Anna winds out into the ocean. That’s just how my luck is.

It’s still not over but I think the worst might be behind us as the winds die down. While this could have been a madhouse, it seemed like the entire city pulled together to help each other out. I’ve always complained about how it seemed like a lot of folk out here didn’t know their neighbors but I can’t say that anymore. I'm impressed with all of the footage of fire fighters going into peoples houses getting out their belongings and the police that have been patrolling the roads, even though we are in the middle of a huge disaster, we're still keeping the rule of law. There isn't footage flying all over the internet of people looting buildings. Great job guys, this chaotic evolution went off like a well oiled machine.

I’m looking at the KPBS map and they’re saying that the Witch Fire (the one closest to me) is only 1 percent contained. Hopefully that doesn't flare up in the middle of the night.

Looking for information?
City of San Diego Offical Website has the latest offical updates (I can pay my parking ticket there too? Neat!)
You can find a list of San Diego houses destroyed by the fire here
And the Rancho Santa Fe homes here
Sign on San Diego Blog has hourly updates.
2-1-1 San Diego has some good info (if outdated but does have phone numbers)

Here’s a list of places to go to volunteer or give money

San Diego Red Cross
San Diego Volunteer
San Diego Food Bank

I wish you all the best, I'm going to try getting some shut eye in case I get pulled out to do craziness in the middle of the night. Take care all!

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